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UFC Fight Night 63: Chad Mendes, Dustin Poirier earn performance bonuses

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

On a rare afternoon affair and in a big spot to make some noise atop the UFC's featherweight division, Chad Mendes made a strong case for another title shot. And his first round TKO victory over Ricardo Lamas also earned the Team Alpha Male fighter a cool $50,000 in extra cash.

UFC president Dana White tweeted out that Mendes -- along with Dustin Poirier, Juliana Pena and Timothy Johnson -- earned a Performance of the Night bonus at UFC Fight Night 63 in Fairfax, Virginia. Mendes landed a big right hand to the top of Lamas' head which sent him reeling. He never fully recovered, as Mendes pursued him for several moments until referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight.

Now it's up to fate to direct Mendes in the bottle-necked featherweight title picture. Current champion Jose Aldo is fighting Irish sensation Conor McGregor at UFC 189 on July 11. Mendes would appear to be back in line for the winner, though there are circumstances. "Money" Mendes is 0-2 against Aldo, yet the second fight was considered by many to the fight of the 2014. Should McGregor win the belt, the UFC might look to book an immediate rematch with Aldo.

Then there's the Frankie Edgar-Urijah Faber fight that's happening in the Philippines on May 16. The UFC may opt to push the winner of that fight ahead of Mendes.

As for the other bonus winners, Poirier made good in his lightweight debut by scoring a first round TKO victory over Carlos Diego Ferreira, and Pena was able to return from a devastating knee injury that shelved her for nearly a year-and-a-half to dismantle Milana Dudieva (first round TKO).

Johnson put away Shamil Abdurakhimov via a late first-round finish (TKO), as well.

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